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Shimano RS10 wheelset



Good quality entry level wheels that undeniably look good too

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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At first glance, the Shimano RS10s look really good. Semi-aero rims, oval-section spokes - just 16 (radial) in the front wheel, and 20 (2-cross) in the rear – and chunky hubs with a slightly larger flange in the rear wheel to take the straight-pull spokes. In fact they are a reasonably priced, nice riding, and reliable set of wheels and those looks can't hurt either, one thing they're not though is light.

Shimano’s official weight for the pair is 1848g, without skewers. On the scales in the lab we made them 1845g (791g front, 1054g rear). We’re splitting hairs, obviously. Either way, this is no featherweight pair of wheels.

There’s nothing wrong with heavier wheels, of course. These are an excellent choice if you’re an average sized rider and want something for commuting, training or winter riding that looks quite sexy. If you’re a heavier rider they might be a good choice if you want something stylish, but in my opinion bigger types would be better off with something with a few more spokes.

And that makes me wonder, if a few more spokes were added to the RS10s, could the rim be lighter, and therefore the whole wheel-set lighter overall? But then I reckon those clever folk at Shimano have thought of that, and have deliberately made the RS10s a reasonably priced pair of wheels that ain’t light but definitely look the biz.

It’s not just looks though. Quality is good too. The wheels give a nice solid ride. Not especially responsive, but not bad at all. I’ve done several hundred miles on them now, including a 200-mile charity ride from the Westcountry to London and back. The ride was on a wide range of surfaces - from smooth main roads, country lanes - and I hit some nasty pot-holes in the streets in the capital - and the wheels held up fine. They’re still totally true.

On the technical side, the straight-pull spokes are a major plus. By doing away with the bend or ‘elbow’ near the hub, it’s one less weak point. According to the Shimano website, the wheels have ‘angular contact bearings designed to cradle the balls giving both radial and lateral support for superior strength and durability’. The rear rim is asymmetric - an interesting innovation than basically means it’s a bit wider on the drive side - which is intended to make the wheel more rigid under pressure. There’s certainly very little flex when you throw the bike around a bit, going uphill out of the saddle.

Recommended retail price for the RS10s is about £175 per pair, but you can get them for £145-155, and even as low as £110 if you catch an on-line store clearing stock. This compares with wheels such as Mavic Aksiums (about 1900g per pair, usually priced around £170) or Fulcrum 7s (about 1930g, usually around £150).

Look out for RS10s in bike shops too; they’re supplied as standard with many complete bikes, but it’s not uncommon for customers to upgrade to something else, so the shop sells off the RS10s at a bargain price.


The RS10s are good quality entry-level wheel-set, reasonably priced, with some neat technological touches, that undeniably look very nice. test report

Make and model: Shimano RS10 wheelset

Size tested: Silver

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
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Did you enjoy using the product? yes

Would you consider buying the product? yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? yes

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 49  Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm  Weight: 11 stone / 70kg

I usually ride: an old Marin Alp  My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: A few times a week  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, mtb,

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ARGYLL | 13 years ago

Have covered 3000 plus miles on my CAAD9 training bike with these wheeels and they are still as true as the first day I rode them, no issues at all, and for the money a complete bargin.

Simon E | 13 years ago

I bought a pair to replace the Alex DA22s on my Giant SCR 2. Have so far put 1,000 km on them with no issues at all. They spin up considerably better and I seem to do quicker times on my regular loops than with the old wheels. I also found the braking surface to be an improvement, I had much more effective brakes without having to change pads  1

gazzaputt | 13 years ago

Bought a set for commuting on and cannot fault them. £80 new from Ebay.

They are strong and put up with some very poor road surfaces.

Great at speed as well and I find them not to bad to get up to a good cruising speed quickly. Quick sprints from the lights and they respond well.

I have matched them with some spare Ti skewers, Schwalbe Ultremos R.1 and Vittorias ultra tubes.

No grumbles from me.

Napalmhaze | 13 years ago

I had a set that came on my bike. Rear went out of true within 50 miles. Spoke broke after 1000. Front felt flexy during out of saddle efforts. Ride was harsh, unresponsive. Heavy as you said.

Shimano have clearly made a wheel meant to look sexy more than perform well. They've aimed for the market that wants a low spoke count wheel that looks 'pro' on a tight budget.

In my opinion, 'low spoke count' and 'budget' should not be in the same sentence.

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